Sumibiyaki (charcoal-grilled) dishes have well-cooked, crisp surface, but soft and juicy inside due to the effects of far-infrared rays in the cooking process. Grilling over charcoal may be a simple cooking method, but sumibiyaki cuisine will let you fully enjoy the true taste of the ingredients. Below are five restaurants in Osaka where you can enjoy delicious sumibiyaki and warayaki (straw grilled) dishes.
Robata Chance Ginpei is a restaurant that charcoal-grills seafood caught in the morning, so customers get to taste the kind of just-caught delicious flavors of seafood that only fishermen know. The sashimi of fish that had been in the ocean until morning is characterized by its exceptional sweetness and firmness. This shop grills fresh and delicious natural fish using the genshiyaki (cooking over an open flame) method. From the counter seats, you will be able to see the seafood ingredients that are placed upright around the charcoal flame being grilled. If you come after 8:00 pm, all fresh seafood dishes are half-priced (some exceptions may apply). The Genshiyaki Teishoku (genshiyaki set meat) (1,000 JPY (excl. tax)) for lunch is famous as it lets you choose the fish from the batch delivered on the same day.
2. BECO Shinsaibashi Shop
BECO is a shop serving exquisite steaks that are grilled using the special method called "shinku teion hiire" (vacuum low-temperature grilling). This method involves heating the meat in a vacuum pack or vacuum container at a low temperature for 30 minutes first, then grilling it swiftly over charcoal, making the outside of the meat crispy and the inside surprisingly soft and tasty. BECO specializes in the red meat of Kuroge Wagyu (Japanese Black beef), selling all its steaks by weight. You can choose the meat you want from the display rack (1g for 15 JPY and up (excl. tax), available to order from about 100g). When you see the flames rising to grill the meat, it will feel like you are watching a show. Pair your steak with the grilled seasonal vegetables (price depends on the market price of the ingredients) handpicked by the owner of the restaurant.
Kokotori is a restaurant serving dishes of chicken grilled over local Bincho charcoal (a kind of high-grade charcoal), and specializing in the using 2 brands of chicken - Yamato Nikudori from Nara and Hachikin Jidori from Kochi. Since the texture of the meat of the two brands are different, the chef gives special attention to adjusting the strength of the charcoal fire accordingly, and to ensure the most delicious taste is achieved for each part of the chicken. This involves using such techniques as slow cooking and quick grilling. Recommended here is the Sasami Wasabi (350 JPY (incl. tax)), an exquisite dish with soft and tender meat delicately grilled over fire, and the aroma of wasabi that escapes from your nose. It's a mature space with jazz music that you won't believe is close to the lively Namba Station. This restaurant is a place where you can relax while you dine.
4. Kantekiya Kawaramachi Shop
This is a restaurant where natural seafood caught in the morning and delivered straight to the shop is grilled on kanteki (earthen charcoal stove), from which its name comes. Its specialty Kaisenyaki Set (grilled seafood set) (1,900 JPY (incl. tax) for one person) is a popular item that reproduces the cooking of a fisherman, and is made by grilling freshly caught seafood on a kanteki on the table. This dish of grilled seafood such as sazae (turban shell), squid and shrimp will let you fully taste the original delicious goodness of the ingredients. It is for this very reason that this restaurant pays close attention to the ingredients used in their dishes. Sample the extremely fresh seafood that are caught that day, and the best seasonal ingredients.
5. Torahachi Shoten Shinsaibashi Shop
This is a restaurant where you can eat fresh katsuo (skipjack tuna) shipped directly from Kochi, and cooked by Kochi's own warayaki method. The Katsuo no Warayaki Tataki (market price) is a regional dish of Kochi, with an aroma of the smoke from the wara (straw) on the outside, and the sweetness of fresh meat. It is best eaten with salt if the fish is fatty, and the shop's homemade yuzu ponzu (citrus-flavored soy sauce) if there is no fat. There are many restaurants that serve katsuo tataki (seared skipjack tuna), but warayaki is an authentic flavor that you will barely see in Osaka. Make sure to eat it while it's hot. There are also beef warayaki and sumibiyaki dishes, so you might want to enjoy the differences in the various aromas too.
Please enjoy the time while you wait for your food by watching the flames go up to grill the food, or cooking your own food at the table.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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